Marine geosciences

New Zealand’s large ocean area and active geology make it ideal for the study of marine geosciences and processes.

Mozart Seamount pillow balls

Ocean covers over 95% of the New Zealand territory, giving the country one of the world’s largest exclusive economic zones (EEZs). This sea zone contains a large variety of geologic features. 

Our research studies seafloor and sub-seafloor processes via sediment cores and geophysical data, supported by geochemical, sedimentological, geomorphological, and tectonic analyses.

We seek to improve understanding of seafloor processes such as sub-seafloor fluid flow, carbon cycling, submarine hazards, accumulation of marine geologic resources, the geologic foundation for seafloor biologic communities, and the tectonic evolution of the New Zealand continent more generally.

Our research topics

  • Offshore sedimentary systems (quantitative sedimentology of sediment cores, facies analysis; gravity-flow modelling; quantitative geomorphological analysis of bathymetry data)
  • Submarine landslides
  • Sub-seafloor fluid flow
  • Cold seeps and authigenic carbonates
  • Gas hydrates (future energy source; role in seafloor stability; feedback with climate change)
  • Tectonics (rifts and subduction zones)

Our researchers